United States District Court, E.D. Michigan, Northern Division
Anthony P. Patti, Magistrate Judge.
OVERRULING PLAINTIFF'S OBJECTIONS, ADOPTING THE REPORT
AND RECOMMENDATION, DENYING PLAINTIFF'S MOTION FOR
SUMMARY JUDGMENT, GRANTING DEFENDANT'S MOTION FOR SUMMARY
JUDGMENT, AND AFFIRMING THE DECISION OF THE
L. LUDINGTON, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
Jaylen Ashby received supplemental security income benefits
as a child because he suffered from a seizure-related
disorder. After his eighteenth birthday, Ashby was examined
and the Social Security Administration found that he no
longer qualified for supplemental security income. Ashby
requested a hearing before an administrative law judge (ALJ),
who determined that Ashby was not entitled to disability
benefits. Ashby sought review by the Appeals Counsel, which
declined to review the ALJ's decision. On May 23, 2016,
Ashby filed a complaint seeking judicial review of the
benefits denial. ECF No. 1. The case was referred to
Magistrate Judge Anthony P. Patti pursuant to Local Rule
72.1(b)(3) and 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1). ECF No. 3.
parties subsequently filed dueling motions for summary
judgment. ECF No. 16, 17. On July 31, 2017, Judge Patti filed
a report recommending that the Commissioner's motion for
summary judgment be granted, Ashby's motion for summary
judgment be denied, and that the Commission's decision be
affirmed. ECF No. 20. Ashby timely objected. ECF No. 21. For
the following reasons, those objections will be overruled,
Judge Patti's report and recommendation will be adopted,
and the Commissioner's denial of benefits will be
party has specifically objected to Judge Patti's summary
of the background and administrative proceedings of the case.
For that reason, the summary is adopted in full. For purposes
of this order, it is sufficient to note that the ALJ found
that Ashby suffered from the following severe impairments:
scoliosis, asthma, Tourette's syndrome, attention
deficient disorder, and obsessive-compulsive disorder. Rec.
at 16, ECF No. 8. Ultimately, the ALJ concluded that Ashby
“had the residual functional capacity to perform
sedentary work” with some additional limitations.
Id. at 18. Because Ashby can perform a significant
number of jobs even with those limitations, the ALJ denied
his request for benefits.
reviewing a case under 42 U.S.C. § 405(g), the Court
must affirm the Commissioner's conclusions “absent
a determination that the Commissioner has failed to apply the
correct legal standards or has made findings of fact
unsupported by substantial evidence in the record.”
Walters v. Comm'r of Soc. Sec., 127 F.3d 525,
528 (6th Cir. 1997) (citations omitted). Substantial evidence
is “such evidence as a reasonable mind might accept as
adequate to support a conclusion.” Id.
the Social Security Act (“The Act”), a claimant
is entitled to disability benefits if he can demonstrate that
he is in fact disabled. Colvin v. Barnhart, 475 F.3d
727, 730 (6th Cir. 2007). Disability is defined by the Act as
an “inability to engage in any substantial gainful
activity by reason of any medically determinable physical or
mental impairment which can be expected to result in death or
which has lasted or can be expected to last for a continuous
period of not less than 12 months.” 42 U.S.C. §
423(d)(1)(A); 20 C.F.R. §§ 404.1505, 416.05. A
plaintiff carries the burden of establishing that he meets
this definition. 42 U.S.C. §§ 423(d)(5)(A); see
also Dragon v. Comm'r of Soc. Sec., 470 F. App'x
454, 459 (6th Cir. 2012).
federal regulations outline a five-step sequential process to
determine whether an individual qualifies as disabled:
First, the claimant must demonstrate that he has not engaged
in substantial gainful activity during the period of
disability. Second, the claimant must show that he suffers
from a severe medically determinable physical or mental
impairment. Third, if the claimant shows that his impairment
meets or medically equals one of the impairments listed in 20
C.F.R. Pt. 404, Subpt. P, App. 1, he is deemed disabled.
Fourth, the ALJ determines whether, based on the
claimant's residual functional capacity, the claimant can
perform his past relevant work, in which case the claimant is
not disabled. Fifth, the ALJ determines whether, based on the
claimant's residual functional capacity, as well as his
age, education, and work experience, the claimant can make an
adjustment to other work, in which case the claimant is not
Courter v. Comm'r of Soc. Sec., 479 F. App'x
713, 719 (6th Cir. 2012) (quoting Wilson v. Comm'r of
Soc. Sec., 378 F.3d 541, 548 (6th Cir.
2004)). Through Step Four, the plaintiff bears the
burden of proving the existence and severity of limitations
caused by his impairments and the fact that he is precluded
from performing her past relevant work. At Step Five, the
burden shifts to the Commissioner to identify a significant
number of jobs in the economy that accommodate the
claimant's residual ...